Archuleta County – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 15 Oct 2020 19:49:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 http://www.pagosasun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/cropped-sun-logo-512x512-1-32x32.jpg Archuleta County – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com 32 32 COVID-19: Flu shots encouraged, feedback sought on ski area guidance http://www.pagosasun.com/covid-19-flu-shots-encouraged-feedback-sought-on-ski-area-guidance-2/ Fri, 16 Oct 2020 11:00:59 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=211752 By Randi Pierce
Staff Writer

As of Wednesday afternoon, Archuleta County had 62 total cases of COVID-19 among residents, with 36 recovered, and 54 cases among nonresidents, according to San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) data.

Archuleta County had 55 resident cases on Oct. 1, according to the data.

Archuleta County remains under Safer at Home Level 1 on the state’s dial framework, with SJBPH’s website showing that Archuleta County meets the metrics for Protect Our Neighbors in seven of eight categories.

The area where Archuleta County does not meet the metric is “Stable or declining COVID-19 hospitalizations.”

Data from Mercy Regional Medical Center related to the metric show a “Hospitalizations Percent Change (average for 14 day period beginning on Sundays)” of 76 percent on Oct. 3, as compared to -41.63 percent on Sept. 26 and -5.3 percent on Oct. 10. 

Increasing hospitalizations are a concern across the state, with Gov. Jared Polis stating Tuesday that Colorado’s hospitalizations were the highest they’d been since May.

“We need to get this under control now,” he said.

Colorado as a whole listed 80,085 cases cumulative cases as of Wednesday afternoon, with 8,003 hospitalized.

Flu clinics announced

SJBPH announced October dates and locations for flu clinics in both Archuleta and La Plata counties Wednesday, with public health officials suggesting that getting a flu shot this year is more important than ever.

A SJBPH press release on the flu shot clinics states, “according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the addition of another respiratory illness on top of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could overburden the health care system, strain testing capacity, and increase the risk of catching both diseases at once.”

The public health agency’s upcoming Archuleta County clinic is set for Monday, Oct. 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the SJBPH Pagosa Springs Office, 502 S. 8th St.

SJBPH is urging anyone over 6 months to get a flu shot. 

“Flu cases start to increase in October and typically peak in late December or early January before dropping off in the spring. Since it takes two weeks for the vaccine to take effect, October is the ideal time to get your flu shot,” the press release explains, adding, “Each year, the flu vaccine contains three to four different strains of the disease that officials expect to be the ones most in circulation during the current season. Even when a flu vaccine is not an exact match to the strain that winds up being most common in a season, it prompts the body to produce an immune response that will limit the severity of a person’s sickness.”

The cost of flu shots at SJBPH clinics is free to un- or under-insured, or is covered by insurance.

Additional clinic dates are expected to be added.

State seeks feedback on guidance for ski areas

On Wednesday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that it is seeking feedback on newly drafted guidance for ski areas and resorts.

Stakeholders and the public are asked to submit feedback by 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 16.

To read the full draft guidance, visit: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1k58FNq2w2YNW0xL4hIGHlz86kockwXV5/view.

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Major investment in affordable housing in town finalized http://www.pagosasun.com/major-investment-in-affordable-housing-in-town-finalized/ Thu, 15 Oct 2020 21:00:29 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=211818

Rendering courtesy HGF Architects Inc.
When complete, a Hot Springs Boulevard construction project will include 34 townhome units with one, two or three bedrooms in seven buildings and a new building for the Archuleta County Department of Human Services.

By Jim Garrett
Special to The SUN

An investment transaction that will fund the construction of affordable housing on Hot Springs Boulevard in downtown Pagosa Springs under the auspices of the Archuleta County Housing Authority closed on Sept. 30.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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Public Meetings http://www.pagosasun.com/public-meetings-243/ Thu, 15 Oct 2020 21:00:11 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=211812 The following meetings are subject to change.

Thursday, Oct. 15

Archuleta County Republican Central Committee meeting. Noon, Pagosa Brewing, 118 N. Pagosa Blvd. Subject to cancellation due to COVID-19.

Monday, Oct. 19

Pagosa Peak Open School Board of Directors regular meeting. 5 p.m., 7 Parelli Way.

Tuesday, Oct. 20

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners work session. 8:30 a.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners regular meeting. 1:30 p.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Wednesday, Oct. 21

Upper San Juan Library District board meeting. 4 p.m., Zoom meeting. Join us at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83398449146 with meeting ID: 833 9844 9146.

Thursday, Oct. 22

Pagosa Springs Town Council meeting. 5 p.m. See town website for participation information.

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District regular meeting. 5 p.m., 100 Lyn Ave.

Tuesday, Oct. 27

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners work session. 8:30 a.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Town Planning Commission, Board of Adjustments and Design Review Board work session and regular meeting. 4:30 p.m. work session, 5:30 p.m. meeting. See town website for participation information.

Wednesday, Oct. 28

Archuleta County Planning Commission meeting. 6 p.m., Archuleta County administration building, commissioners’ meeting room, 398 Lewis St., and possible Zoom meeting.

Thursday, Oct. 29

Pagosa Springs Town Council work session. 5 p.m. See town website for participation information.

Public meeting information should be sent to editor@pagosasun.com with “Public Meeting” in the subject line. The deadline is noon Monday each week prior to publication for that week’s issue.

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Counties hear district attorney’s budget requests http://www.pagosasun.com/counties-hear-district-attorneys-budget-requests/ Thu, 15 Oct 2020 21:00:01 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=211782 By Clayton Chaney
Staff Writer

On Monday, Oct. 5, commissioners from Archuleta, San Juan and La Plata counties held a district attorney’s budget meeting for 2021.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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School district sees enrollment decline http://www.pagosasun.com/school-district-sees-enrollment-decline/ Thu, 15 Oct 2020 11:00:11 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=211735 By Randi Pierce
Staff Writer

Like many districts around the state, Archuleta School District (ASD) is grappling with declining enrollment figures and the anticipated drop in state funding that comes with the lower student count.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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COVID-19: Flu shots encouraged, feedback sought on ski area guidance http://www.pagosasun.com/covid-19-flu-shots-encouraged-feedback-sought-on-ski-area-guidance/ Thu, 15 Oct 2020 10:58:56 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=211729 By Randi Pierce
Staff Writer

As of Wednesday afternoon, Archuleta County had 62 total cases of COVID-19 among residents, with 36 recovered, and 54 cases among nonresidents, according to San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) data.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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County presents draft 2021 budget http://www.pagosasun.com/county-presents-draft-2021-budget/ Thu, 15 Oct 2020 10:57:19 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=211724 By Clayton Chaney
Staff Writer

At the regular Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners’ meeting on Oct. 6, Finance Director Larry Walton presented “highlights” of the 2021 budget. 

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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Public Meetings http://www.pagosasun.com/public-meetings-242/ Thu, 08 Oct 2020 21:00:33 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=211435 The following meetings are subject to change.

Monday, Oct. 12

Groundbreaking Ceremony for County Justice Center. 10 a.m., construction site next to 85 Harman Park Drive.

Tuesday, Oct. 13

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners work session. 8:30 a.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Archuleta County Republican Women’s meeting. Noon, Gustoso Italian Restaurant, 117 Navajo Trail Drive, Unit D. 

Pagosa Springs Area Tourism Board meeting. 4 p.m. See town website for participation information.

Town Planning Commission, Board of Adjustments and Design Review Board work session and regular meeting. 4:30 p.m. work session, 5:30 p.m. meeting. See town website for participation information.

Archuleta School District Board of Education. 5 p.m. work session, 6 p.m. meeting, Pagosa Springs Middle School Library, 309 Lewis St.

Upper San Juan Health Service District special board meeting. 5:30 p.m. Join Zoom meeting: https://zoom.us/j/96904926293, meeting ID: 969 0492 6293. Phone in using: (346) 248-7799. 

Pagosa Fire Protection District Board of Directors regular meeting. 6:30 p.m., Administration Building, 165 N. Pagosa Blvd.

Wednesday, Oct. 14

Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation regular board meeting. 5:30 p.m. Zoom meeting. Visit www.pagosaspringscdc.org for login information. 

Thursday, Oct. 15

Archuleta County Republican Central Committee meeting. Noon, Pagosa Brewing, 118 N. Pagosa Blvd. Subject to cancellation due to COVID-19.

Monday, Oct. 19

Pagosa Peak Open School Board of Directors regular meeting. 5 p.m., 7 Parelli Way.

Public meeting information should be sent to editor@pagosasun.com with “Public Meeting” in the subject line. The deadline is noon Monday each week prior to publication for that week’s issue.

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School resource officers: building relationships and protecting students http://www.pagosasun.com/school-resource-officers-building-relationships-and-protecting-students/ Wed, 07 Oct 2020 11:00:01 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=211140

SUN photo/John Finefrock
From left to right, Deputy Dylaina Gauvey, Officer Austin Gartman and Deputy James “Bubba” Martinez are the three school resource officers that protect local schools and serve as role models for local students.

By John Finefrock
Staff Writer

For about three years, the Archuleta School District (ASD) has had partnerships with local law enforcement that has allowed school resource officers, or SROs, to help protect local schools and be role models for local students.

“Certainly, the SRO program is a very — in the sheriff’s office opinion — it’s a very important role that we play with the students,” said Archuleta County Undersheriff Derek Woodman in an interview Tuesday. “Not only as law enforcement in the schools, but they’re having additional people in schools that can act as role models, that can show that there’s nothing to be afraid of when you interact with law enforcement.”

“I believe having the school resource officers in our district is invaluable for the safety and security of the community’s students and the daily interactions of students and officers continues to reduce the gap and build the bridge with law enforcement,” wrote Pagosa Springs Police Chief Bill Rockensock in an email to The SUN.

Currently, three SROs take turns rotating at the elementary school, middle school and high school in Pagosa Springs.

The program began in 2017 with one officer.

In 2018, Archuleta County voters passed a mill levy override that expanded the SRO program, adding two more officers.

“We definitely find that relationship building has been beneficial both for the kids, so the kids not to be hesitant in approaching an officer and for just the whole feel of the place,” said ASD Assistant Superintendent Laura Mijares. “It kind of allows the academic staff — so teachers and administrators — to focus on the academics.”

The three SROs are Deputy James “Bubba” Martinez, Deputy Dylaina Gauvey, both from the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office, and Officer Austin Gartman from the Pagosa Springs Police Department.

Martinez

Martinez

Martinez grew up in Pagosa Springs, and was an athlete on the high school wrestling, track and field, and football teams at Pagosa Springs High School.

He said he “really connected to the high school and the teachers and staff” during his upbringing, and commented on what got him into law enforcement in the first place.

“I watched the town grow, I watched the people grow and what got me into law enforcement is I really cared about kids and being proactive in the community I grew up in,” Martinez said, adding, “I enjoy helping and being a good impact on individuals’ lives … I love Pagosa with everything I have.”

Martinez worked at the Archuleta County jail when it was located downtown at 449 San Juan St.

During his time there, he had the opportunity to attend the law enforcement academy, which Martinez, “jumped at,” and he continued to work at the jail while completing the five-month academy.

“I worked at [the jail at] night and went to school during the day for about five months,” he said, adding, “It was a heck of a schedule.”

He added, “I was really determined and I wanted to accomplish this, and I knew as soon as I became a patrol deputy, I’d be able to interact with our community … I always had a knack with working with kids, and enjoyed working with kids, and the school started a program where we could just come and do overtime shifts at the schools and make our presence [felt] and whatnot and — after a little bit of hard work from the commander and a few other leads in the sheriff’s office — I got the opportunity to help develop [the SRO] program. So I was the SRO by myself, rotating all three schools [in 2017].”

Now, Martinez is one of three SROs rotating between the schools.

“Unfortunately in law enforcement you see the good, the bad and the ugly, because you always respond to the worst time in their life,” Martinez said, adding that now that he’s embedded within the schools, he gets to “be a big kid” himself and play basketball or pick-up hackey sack with the kids.

Martinez said that “each school has its own personalty, and commented on each in his interview.

• Pagosa Springs Elementary School: “What we learned is the kids love coming up to you and talking and asking you anything and everything,”he said, noting that there’s “more hopscotch and jump roping.”

• Pagosa Springs Middle School: “Those kids, they’re gettin’ more mature and whatnot, but they’re all about their athletics. They’re learning life, they’ve got great sense of humors … That’s where I do a little more interacting with the kids as far as sports and athletics,” Martinez commented.

• Pagosa Springs High School: “[At the high school, they’re] starting to develop and learn who they are,” said Martinez, adding, that he “tells them about life experiences and asks them, “Hey, what are you going to do for life?”

“I can say I have so many friends and I’ve impacted so many lives, but they’ve done the same for me. They’ve brought me a great peace,” said Martinez of the students.

Gartman

Gartman

Gartman grew up in Cedaredge, Colo., which he explained is “kinda near Montrose” in an interview Monday.

He attended Fort Lewis College and earned his degree in criminology.

“Something that I like about law enforcement is the variety — how different it is everyday,” he said, adding, “ [There’s] always a different way of helping people. It gives you a sense of satisfaction, to make the entire community look better when the PD [police department] is doing its job and helping people out.”

He added, “As far as being an SRO, I really enjoy hanging out with the kids, getting to know them, getting to build that trust so that they can grow up and have a good relationship with law enforcement because I know there’s a lot of people out there that don’t have a good relationship with law enforcement. So I feel like I can make an impact through the school to help these kids grow up and know that we’re not all bad and that most of us are good people that are just trying to help.”

Gartman explained how the three SROs rotate between local schools in Pagosa Springs.

“We do monthly rotations,” he said. “Right now, I’m at the elementary school until October, then I’ll head over to the middle school for a month, then go to the high school and then start that rotation process all over again.”

Gartman is in his first year as an SRO in Pagosa Springs, and commented on what drew him to the position.

“It’s just something that I’ve been wanting to do since I was in college because I had an internship with La Plata County, so I hung out with the La Plata SROs a lot. That’s what got me interested, how La Plata guys were able to hang out with the kids and get to know them and build a relationship with them,” he said.

Gauvey

Gauvey

“Our main responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of the staff and students,” Gauvey said. “We just make sure we’re visible, the kids know that we’re here. We are checking the buildings, making sure they’re secure. Doors stick, there’s these buildings — at least at the middle school — they’re old, and even at the high school doors stick. We just make sure buildings are secure and everything is going OK.”

Prior to becoming an SRO, Gauvey was a teacher for a few years and then ultimately transitioned to law enforcement.

She has a similar experience to Martinez in that she worked at the county jail before taking the SRO role at the schools.

“I applied for the detentions position that [the sheriff’s office] had open in 2016, did that for a couple years then had the opportunity to go the academy and go to the patrol side of things,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to be in law enforcement, so I jumped on that.”

Gauvey was a patrol deputy for a few years and began her role as an SRO at the beginning of this school year.

She explained she enjoys working in the community and that she gets compliments like, “Hey, if nobody told you today, thank you for your service.”

“Our main priority is safety,” Gauvey said, adding, “We’re here to make sure the schools are OK and do our best to protect our most valuable population — or one of the most valuable populations that we have — which is the next generation.”

Gauvey said that when she was teaching, she was also an athletic coach, and that being an SRO “feels like sort of a coaching position.”

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Public Meetings http://www.pagosasun.com/public-meetings-241/ Thu, 01 Oct 2020 21:00:47 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=211115 The following meetings are subject to change.

Thursday, Oct. 1

Dispatch Executive Management board. 9:30 a.m. Zoom meeting.

Town of Pagosa Springs Combined Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting. 5:30 p.m. See town website for participation information.

Monday, Oct. 5

Joint Archuleta/La Plata/San Juan counties district attorney budget meeting. 9 a.m. Zoom meeting.

San Juan Basin Public Health budget meeting with Archuleta/La Plata/San Juan counties. 10 a.m. Zoom meeting.

Tuesday, Oct. 6

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners work session. 8:30 a.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners regular meeting. 1:30 p.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Pagosa Springs Town Council meeting. 5 p.m. See town website for participation information.

Monday, Oct. 12

Groundbreaking Ceremony for County Justice Center. 10 a.m., construction site next to 85 Harman Park Drive.

Tuesday, Oct. 13

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners work session. 8:30 a.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Archuleta County Republican Women’s meeting. Noon, The Break Room, 2045 Eagle Drive. 

Town Planning Commission, Board of Adjustments and Design Review Board work session and regular meeting. 4:30 p.m. work session, 5:30 p.m. meeting. See town website for participation information.

Archuleta School District Board of Education meeting. 5:30 p.m. See the agenda on the district website for participation information.

Upper San Juan Health Service District special board meeting. 5:30 p.m. Join Zoom meeting: https://zoom.us/j/96904926293, meeting ID: 969 0492 6293. Phone in using: (346) 248-7799. 

Wednesday, Oct. 14

Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation regular board meeting. 5:30 p.m. Zoom meeting. Visit www.pagosaspringscdc.org for login information. 

Thursday, Oct. 15

Archuleta County Republican Central Committee meeting. Noon, Pagosa Brewing, 118 N. Pagosa Blvd. Subject to cancellation due to COVID-19.

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District regular meeting. 5 p.m., 100 Lyn Ave.

Public meeting information should be sent to editor@pagosasun.com with “Public Meeting” in the subject line. The deadline is noon Monday each week prior to publication for that week’s issue.

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